Shift Career Coaching – a new resource for moms in Winnipeg!

Transitioning from work, to having a baby and going on parental leave, then transitioning through your career with a young family can leave you with questions, plus a need for additional support. Shift Career Coaching is a new business in Winnipeg that aims to help women journey through their careers and motherhood. This is very much needed!

Shift Career Coaching: Meg Valdmanis-Miller is an experienced Career Practitioner and Mom with a heart for helping women navigate their careers through motherhood.

Owner Meg offers a variety of career resources are available on the Shift Blog and allows to you keep up to date by subscribing to the Motherhood Advantage e-newsletter.

Meg also runs a self-paced online career course, the Motherhood Advantage Program, to help you transition your career through pregnancy or new motherhood. One-on-one career coaching is available virtually by phone, Skype or FaceTime. Questions are always welcome by contacting Meg or finding her on Facebook.

Save $20 on a Prenatal Childbirth Class with Bean Family Wellness

Winnipeg Prenatal Class Promotion - Save $20 off with code LITTLEBEANS20

Winnipeg Prenatal Childbirth Class Promotion – Save $20 off with code LITTLEBEANS20 – Valid April 18-25.

Bean Family Wellness is hosting a special promotion April 18-25, 2018 on Prenatal Classes. Just in time for Spring and Summer babies!

Register between April 18 – April 25, 2018 to save $20 off your choice of prenatal class. Your class can occur at any time in the future.

This promotion includes: Group Prenatal Childbirth Classes, Private In-home Prenatal Childbirth Classes, and Refresher Childbirth Classes.

To register, visit and use coupon code LITTLEBEANS20:

This promotion cannot be combined with any other offers, promotions, or gift certificates.

Apply to be part of the Baby Box Study (University of Manitoba / WRHA)

Are you more than 32 weeks pregnant? Or do you have a baby less than 4 weeks old? If so you may qualify to participate in the Baby Box (Portable Bassinet) Study. Read below to learn more.

If you don’t qualify but know of someone who might be interested, please feel free to share the image in this post.

“Do you need a safe place for your baby to sleep but don’t have a crib? This research study will help you get a safe place for your baby to sleep and help you to learn more about how to keep your baby healthy and safe. If you are 32 or more weeks pregnant or have a newborn less than 4 weeks of age, and you don’t have a crib, cradle, or bassinet for your baby, you may be eligible.

Please call us at (204) 451-0621 or email to find out more or sign up!”

Study Ad V3 – Social Media April 2018


Born Exhibit – Birth Photographers of Manitoba

BORN EXHIBIT – Professional Birth Photographers of Manitoba

  • Grand Opening Reception February 24th at 7:30pm
  • Where? Pembina Hills Arts Centre, 352 Stephen Street Morden, MB, R6M 1T5 Canada (click for map)

Born is a first of it’s kind exhibit in Manitoba. Highlighting Professional Birth Photographer s of Manitoba at the The Pembina Hills Arts Centre. Nine birth photographers in Manitoba will have their photographic artwork featured as part of this event:

  • Catherine Brown
  • Holly Klassen
  • Ilissa Kolly
  • Megan Stoneman
  • Alicia Thwaites
  • Jennifer Doran
  • Elliana Gilbert
  • Luci Stebner
  • Carla Bryski

Come to view the artwork and read the stories of families welcoming their babies earthside at ‘Born’. The Born Exhibit will help to normalize and de-stigmatize birth in Manitoba. Join us!

Give blood for moms this month!

Before I entered my childbearing years, I was happy to give blood on a semi-regular basis – I figure those who can, should! Let’s face it, giving blood isn’t really a walk in the park,  but it sure feels good to know that it can save someone’s life. (And the cookies you get afterwards are a sweet bonus!) When I am done having kids, I know that giving blood will be a priority for me again… for now my body has a hard time with having enough iron, so I’ve made a personal choice to put blood donation on hold during this season of life.

I was amazed to learn that every week in Manitoba, Canadian Blood Services must collect just over 1,000 units of blood to keep up with local patient demand. It is an unfortunate fact that some of those units will be used to help mothers who have complications during labor.

For the rest of May, Canadian Blood Services is encouraging you to take an hour out of your day and donate blood. Bring a friend or a family member and donate on behalf of all mothers who are now able to hold their baby because someone decided to GIVE LIFE.

Go to to book your appointment at 777 William Ave, today.

Upcoming Retreats: Healing From Your Difficult Birth

Sarah Picken and Janelle Hebb are holding two upcoming retreats on healing from difficult birth experiences. See the posters and more info on Sarah and Janelle below.



Sarah Picken and Janelle Hebb are both finishing their studies this year in the Marriage and Family Therapy (Master’s degree) program through the University of Winnipeg. They have each been seeing clients for several years as part of their requirements and will be graduating this year. Sarah has a private practice specializing in treating birth trauma (  Janelle is a  certified yoga instructor through Yoga Centre Winnipeg; they incorporate yoga and meditation into their retreats. 

Upcoming Couples’ Retreat: Healing After Pregnancy Loss

Couples who have endured loss at any point during pregnancy may be interested in this upcoming retreat. See more details on the event and the therapists below.


Sarah Picken and Janelle Hebb are both finishing their studies this year in the Marriage and Family Therapy (Master’s degree) program through the University of Winnipeg. They have each been seeing clients for several years as part of their requirements and will be graduating this year. Sarah has a private practice specializing in treating birth trauma (  Janelle is a  certified yoga instructor through Yoga Centre Winnipeg; they incorporate yoga and meditation into their retreats. 

UBC Seeking Participants for Childbirth Fear Study

UBC is looking for participants for a study on childbirth fears:

childbirth fear study

“We recently launched a study on childbirth concerns and are looking for pregnant women who are over 18 and living in Canada to participate.

With this research, we will assess the validity of a new screening tool for fear of childbirth, and explore the relationship between fear of childbirth, and mental health, history of trauma and symptoms of post-traumatic stress.  We hope to create educational materials using the study results.”

Registration Link:

CBC Draws Attention to Abuse of Winnipeg Moms #MistreatedinChildbirth

Did you catch this morning’s segment on abuse in the delivery room on CBC Information Radio?  In it, a local mom described some really awful treatment she received at a Winnipeg hospital after giving birth. She described how as she was basking in joy with her beautiful new baby, a nurse said “she didn’t want to see me back here in 12 months and lectured me about birth control.” (Sound odd? This mom was First Nations. Not a stretch to think the nurse was probably making discriminatory and racist assumptions). You can read more about these stories here:  New mothers upset over treatment in Winnipeg hospitals (CBC Manitoba). Be forewarned: not a pleasant read.

It turns out that CBC National is doing a whole investigation on this matter—see the following articles here (warning, they contain graphic details):

While it’s always sad and discouraging to hear these stories about mistreatment in maternity care, unfortunately, they are neither new nor rare. I was enraged but not at all surprised by any of the accounts shared in these articles or on the radio. But, I am really pleased to see the mainstream media start to cover what those who are passionate about good maternity care have known all along: women are often treated terribly – even abusively – during their maternity care.

Even comments from “leaders” in the obstetric field show an attitude of disregard and disrespect for women’s well-being. Unbelievably, Jennifer Blake, the CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, says she has never heard any complaints of disrespect or abusive behaviour.

It is true that many women don’t make complaints. Speaking from my own experience and in talking to other moms I know, I suggest there can be many reasons for this:

  1. she doesn’t want to be seen as a problem patient.
  2. it takes her a while to process and reflect on the treatment she received, and by the time she realizes that the way she was treated was not okay, it feels too late to report.
  3. birth and recovery are incredibly intimate, and some of the things she experienced may not be the sort of thing she can be candid about with a stranger.
  4. she may be carrying (knowingly or unknowingly) shame about the whole experience, and just trying to forget that any of it happened is how she is coping.

(I also relate to a mom in one of the stories, who said that “Being a new mom is very hard, I mean you’re trying to figure out how to live your life and somebody else’s life, so I mean to go forward with a complaint and to add that to your pile of things to do … it’s not really something that a new mom is going to want to do.” ).

I cannot accept that the SOGC has never had any complaints of abuse or disrespect, because it seems to me that at the root of virtually any complaint one could have about maternity care, you’d find a baseline of disrespect or abuse.  To make statements like Blake’s, or to say that “systems are rigorous at all levels such that Canadian women listening on CBC can be firmly reassured this is not a concern in Canada” (John Kingdom, chair of the University of Toronto’s department of obstetrics and gynecology) is preposterous

This “zero complaints” claim also begs the question, according to whom? Does SOGC have a checkbox for disrespect or abuse on their complaint form? I bet every one of the women who made complaints at any level would say that disrespect or abuse were part of the problem. The technical complaint might be something like “being forced to stop pushing because no doctor was available”, but isn’t the underlying cause of that the callous disregard for a woman’s health and well-being during an incredibly intense, vulnerable, and life-altering situation?

I, for one, am tired of the condescending, patronizing of “experts” who wish to assure us that this is not a problem. Often, they’ll talk about the health system now acknowledges that a mom’s birth “experience” and “empowerment” are important too (those words are usually uttered with just a hint of amusement). But you can usually tell they are just trying to humour us, women who are just asking to be treated with human decency and kindness.

No woman wants to put her baby at risk. But no woman should emerge from childbirth needing therapy for PTSD, or feel like she can’t bring another child into the world because of how traumatic the her first birth was. Even a few cruel, dismissive or offhand comments are enough to have a lasting effect on a mother’s mental health and self-perception. Emotional abuse doesn’t leave visible marks but it’s just as harmful as physical abuse.

On the plus side, I was pleased to hear a follow-up on the late afternoon news with a WRHA spokesperson, inviting women to come forward with complaints and concerns at any time, and acknowledging that these things can take time to process and articulate. I may make my complaint yet.

I hope this coverage starts to open a broader conversation about the way women are treated during their maternity care. Obstetric violence is real, it is pervasive, and it cannot be ignored.